Sunday, December 13, 2009

Streaming Sundays - Noel

This week's holiday movie is one of a completely different sort. If you love holiday movies because they are a non-stop barrage of cheerfulness, delight and uplifting stories than Noel is not for you. However, if you say that you dislike Christmastime or that this is one of your least favorite times of the year this movie is for you. This movie portrays the holiday season as many people see it a complex web of connections, dysfunctional families, past issues and sorrow. While many love the holidays because we're surrounded by those we love, there are many who don't have their family around due to broken relationships, personal loss, or a life in solitude. It is those stories that Noel takes a deeper look into.

This Chazz Palminteri film has a star-studded cast featuring Susan Sarandon, Penelope Cruz, Paul Walker, Alan Arkin and Robin Williams in an uncredited role. Susan plays the daughter to a woman left in a vegetative state later in life and she struggles to find the meaning of her life as she gathers with her only family, a non-responsive mother barely accepting food from the hospital staff. Penelope plays Paul Walker's fiancee who all the men can't keep their eyes off of, Paul's character gets overly jealous creating a rift in their relationship. Alan Arkin plays a slightly deranged old man thinking he sees his former wife in Paul Walker's character. Finally Robin Williams plays a priest who's recently left the church and is seeking the meaning in his life, much like Sarandon's character. Follow this moving tale as they each attempt to have a holiday miracle come through for them.

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